After coming a whisker away from a hat-trick in Chelsea FC Women’ latest emphatic victory, striker Eni Aluko says she wants to put the stress of the last few months behind her, and do her talking on the pitch.
The 6-0 win, against Yeovil Town at Kingsmeadow, might be repeated on Sunday December 3 when the Glovers return for a Continental Tyres Cup date.
Meanwhile the 30-year-old Nigeria-born – but England-representing – striker addressed the story which has hung over her like a heavy raincloud all summer and said: “I’d like to move on now! It’s safe to say it’s been the most difficult period of my life in everything that happened off the pitch. But that’s all done now… hopefully.”
Aluko found herself at the centre of a storm involving former England women’s coach Mark Sampson.
His dismissal in September followed a confused series of investigations into (among other things) allegations of racially discriminatory remarks by Sampson towards Aluko and fellow Chelsea FC Women player Drew Spence.
Although his sacking was put down to inappropriate behaviour by Sampson when he was coaching in Bristol three years ago, Aluko and Spence were given a formal FA apology… vindicating their complaints.
Aluko added, after the recent Kingsmeadow victory: “It was a great win; we wanted to be professional and keep a clean sheet, because it could come down to goal difference at the other end of the season.
“You’ve always got room to improve; we’re not going to score with every shot. Not even Lionel Messi scores every time! But I’m not going to beat myself up over that.”
Aluko, who has had successful playing spells in the United States, which has given her a broader perspective on the game, and could signal a move into management at some stage, said: “I’d like to do my talking on the pitch.”
The striker, who made her senior England debut at 17 and was the first female pundit who uttered a word on Match of the Day, scored twice, with Crystal Dunn and Karen Carney each adding a brace of their own.
Each girl could have achieved a hat-trick, with several shots bouncing off the bar, or being batted away by the over-worked Yeovil keeper.
Chelsea FC Women manager Emma Hayes put the latest goalfest in context by adding: “It was another clean sheet, and that’s what we pride ourselves on!”
Rosengard visit Kingsmeadow on Wednesday evening at 7pm in the Champions League. Tickets via www.chelseafc.com